When it comes to work, most people find it difficult to figure out how to balance their working life and their personal life in a way that makes them happy. Here are some tips on how you can improve your working life to increase your overall happiness.
Make sure you eat a healthy, balanced breakfast
At the beginning of the day, breakfast is an absolute must. Even if you think you’re the sort of person who can roll out of bed and exist on nothing but black coffee until midday, that habit can be unlearned; breakfast is an easy way to get some energy inside you that will last for the entire morning and make it much easier to tackle your to-do pile when you get into the office.
You don’t have to eat a huge meal, although scrambled eggs or tofu with avocado and multigrain toast is perfect for giving you an easy boost of energy. A couple of slices of toast with peanut butter and banana or apple slices will make you feel more alert. If you don’t have much time in the morning, you can always take breakfast to work with you.
Instead of stopping for an expensive coffee and pastry from your friendly neighborhood coffee shop, take in porridge instead and add berries or honey. You’ll be full for the whole morning from healthy, pure food, and you’ll find that focusing on work is easier.
Improving your work commute
Statistics have shown that adding an extra twenty minutes onto your commute increases your unhappiness just as much as a nineteen percent pay decrease would have. Let’s face it: very few people actually enjoy their journeys to and from work. It’s important, then, to try to make those journeys a little less terrible.
Consider how exactly you commute. If you drive to work, this isn’t particularly good for the planet. Sometimes it’s unavoidable – maybe you need to drop your kids off at daycare or there aren’t any reliable public transport links in your area – but if possible, why not switch to the train or a bus? Sometimes they can be crowded and it might not work for you, but a commute where you can just sit back and listen to some music, read your book or even take a nap can be incredibly relaxing.
If you aren’t about relaxing during that commute, why not get off the bus or train a stop early and walk to work from there? The fresh air will do you good, the endorphins will make you feel great, and moving a little before work will set you up for the rest of the day.
A happier desk is a decluttered desk
It’s absolutely true that a messy desk can lead to a messy mind, so it’s time to clear out all that junk that’s gathering dust. You don’t need as many personal possessions on your desk as you may think: really, one photo of your family or a similar object that makes you smile will suffice. Take home the other personal items that don’t benefit you in your day to day work.
Then take a look at what’s left, and start decluttering. Shred the papers that you don’t need, and file the rest. If you don’t have a system, now is the time to develop one. It’s also a good idea to consider going as paper-free as possible as you go on – it’s one of the best office hacks out there to make both your office and the world a better place. It would make you more eco-friendly, and it also means that you won’t have to worry about storage of files and clutter quite as much – it’s much easier to store documents on the cloud than on paper.
Set achievable personal goals
For many of us, it really helps to have goals. Sometimes our bosses set them and sometimes we set them for ourselves. This might be reaching a certain sales target by the end of the month, or simply getting to the end of a to-do list by the end of a working day.
No matter what exactly your goals are, it’s important to make sure that you tick each one off as you go and have a small celebration when you achieve your targets. Congratulate yourself for reaching those goals. In order to do that, of course, you need to make sure that those targets are achievable in the first place – some bosses set targets that are impossible to reach, and that just isn’t a good way of doing things.
It’s frustrating and disheartening, so if that sounds like your workplace, it might be a good idea to have a meeting about creating a new way of reaching targets and goals.
Maintain a work/life balance that works
Maintaining your work/life balance is probably the most important way to be happy at work. Once in a while, you may have to work late, but you need to make sure that it doesn’t happen often unless you’re paid overtime for it.
Getting home at a decent hour means that you can spend time with your partner, that you can hang out with your friends, that you can walk your dog, that you can be an involved parent, that you can take care of household duties. If you let work take over, the rest of your life will start to fall by the wayside and you’ll find that you aren’t happy.
If you’re physically at home but your phone just keeps beeping with emails, here is the permission you may feel that you need to turn that phone off the second you walk through the door at night. Being present at home is crucial – leave work in the office where it belongs.
It definitely isn’t always easy to maintain your happiness at work. Getting up in the morning is rarely fun – but are you miserable because you’d like to have an extra half an hour in bed, or because you don’t like your job? If it just isn’t feasible to search for a new one right now, these tips should help you make it through the day at work with as much happiness as possible.